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    Sloane's Jamaica

    Hans Sloane. A Voyage to the Islands Madera, Barbados, Nieves, S. Christophers and Jamaica, with the Natural History of the Herbs and Trees, Four-footed Beasts, Fishes, Birds, Insects, Reptiles, &c. Of the last of those Islands; To which is prefix'd An Introduction, Wherein is an Account of the Inhabitants, Air, Waters, Diseases, Trade, &c of that Place, with some Relations concerning the Neighbouring Continent, and Islands of America. Illustrated with The Figures of the Things describ'd, which have not been heretofore engraved; In large Copper-Plates as big as the Life. In Two Volumes. London: Printed by B. M. for the Author, 1707; London: Printed for the Author, 1725. First edition. Four folio volumes (13.25 x 8.5 inches; 335 x 240 mm.). [2, title (verso blank)], [12 (Preface)], cliv, 264, [2, errata]; [2, title (verso blank)], [2, Dedication (verso blank)], xviii, 499, [1, blank] pages. Complete with 285 copper-engraved plates, as follows: Large folding engraved map and three double-page engraved plates in Volume I, seven double-page engraved plates in Volume II, and 274 double-page and/or folding plates (plates 1-156 bound as Volume III [plate 6 is loose and laid into the front of the volume], with plates 157-274 bound as Volume IV) of botany, birds, mammals, reptiles, fish, insects, scenes, etc., by Michael Vander Gucht, John Savage, and others. Title-pages printed in red and black. All leaves in Volume I are mounted on tabs; only the plates in Volume II are mounted on tabs; all of the plates in the third and fourth volumes are mounted on tabs. Decorative woodcut tail-pieces and initials; type ornament tail-pieces and initials.
    Contemporary mottled calf. Covers with gilt single fillet border; spines ruled and decoratively tooled in gilt in compartments, with five slightly raised bands and red and black morocco labels ruled and lettered in gilt; turn-ins decoratively tooled in blind; marbled endpapers. Bookplate of the Sondley Reference Library, City of Asheville, North Carolina, on front pastedowns; all of the plates have embossed library stamps in the blank margins. Early ink ownership inscriptions at head of title of Volume I.
    Bindings lightly rubbed, especially at edges and corners; some chipping to head and foot of each spine. Volume I rear joint starting. Volume II front joint cracked at head and foot; rear hinge cracked between pages 498 and 499. Volume IV front joint and hinge cracked (front cover held in place by binding cords).
    Volume I has the lower right corner of its final leaf renewed, not affecting text; and occasional staining along page guard mounts. Pages, in general, may have light creases, corner bends, small edge tears, occasional foxing, smudges, or dampstains. Volumes I, III, and IV have holograph annotations to their first blank pages.
    Volume II has four plates missing parts of their image areas, which have been replaced by photocopied facsimiles and repaired with clear tape on their versos.
    Volume III has four plates with small indentations and holes clustered near their centers, and has large paper repairs to upper corners of "Tab. 19" plate, not affecting image.
    Volume IV has occasional small holes from biopredation, mostly along the image edges, although there are small holes near the centers of "Tab. 173" and "174".
    Each of the plates may have some degree of foxing, toning, creasing, thumb soiling, fold wear, fold separations, small tears (both open and closed), minor paper loss, chipping, repairs or reinforcements, and/or darkening along edges. Nevertheless, a very good copy.
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    More Information:

    "In 1687-88 Hans Sloane spent fifteen months in Jamaica as physician to the Duke of Albemarle, governor of the island. In that time he gathered about 800 new species of plants. He first published a Catalogus plantarum quae in Insula Jamaica sponte proveniunt (1696)...and then in 1707 and 1725 brought out his full account. It was his most important published work...The plates are the earliest representation of the flora and fauna of Jamaica and neighboring islands. The engraver Michael vander Gucht (1660-1725) was born in Antwerp. John Savage (fl. 1690-1707) was a well-known engraver and print-seller in London...Vander Gucht worked from drawings by Everhard Kickius (fl. 1701-1705), and these were based on Sloane's dried specimens, except for a few drawn in Jamaica by the Rev. Garett Moore" (Hunt).

    "Commonly cited as Sloane's Natural History of Jamaica or Hist. Jam., this is a fundamental work for West Indian botany. The botanical plates, although of little artistic merit, are scientifically important, being accurate representations 'as big as the Life' of the dried specimens in Sloane's herbarium (at the British Museum (Nat. Hist.)) which has the original drawings mounted alongside them. Many of these have the inscription 'Everhardus Kickius fecit' or E. Kickius fecit', and he would appear to have drawn them all" (Great Flower Books, pages 139-140).

     ESTC T100752. Hunt 417. Nissen, BBI, 1854. Sabin 82169.

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    Auction Dates
    April, 2015
    8th-9th Wednesday-Thursday
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